Each day, Monday through Friday, TRO publishes at least one new marketing article specifically designed for travel agents. Now, we are going to take the next three weeks to organize the materials of the past year into a 2012 Marketing Plan for travel consultants. Follow along, day by day, read the materials, do the assignments and at the end of the three weeks, you will have a marketing plan. It’s as simple as that – and it is every bit that difficult. Building a workable marketing plan takes discipline. Set aside some time each day to work on your plan. 2012 will, I promise, be a better year for your effort.
Note that this series is for travel professionals, not “agencies”. Each agent in an agency needs their own marketing plan. Regardless of whether you are an employee, an independent travel agent or the owner of a mega agency, you need a personal marketing plan to enhance your net worth as an agent.
We will begin by defining your broad business parameters. We will look at the successes and failures of 2011 and we will set objectives for 2012 by doing an audit of your current marketing plan. We will clarify your mission statement and we will set goals and objectives for the upcoming year. We will then set forth a strategy and we will devise tactics for achieving your objectives.
We will encourage you to place your marketing plan in writing. Why? Because if you put your 2012 Marketing Plan in writing you memorialize it in a way that makes it more real. Dedicating a plan to writing ensures that you can articulate your plan. More importantly, it holds you accountable. You can check your progress in a real way and you can revise it as needed. When your plan is in writing…it’s a real plan. If it’s not in writing, it’s somewhere between good intentions and wishful thinking.
Let’s begin with an audit of your current marketing plan. Answer the questions in our Preliminary Marketing Plan Audit. For each “No” answer, highlight the question with a marker. For each “Yes” answer, gather together the materials that support your answer. For example, question #1 asks if you have a written mission statement. If your answer is “No”, then highlight the question for later action. If your answer is “Yes”, write down your mission statement.
Consider this exercise an “audit” – a way of evaluating where you are now. We will cover each of the items addressed by the questions later in the series.
Now, download the Preliminary Marketing Plan Audit and start the process of planning for growth in 2012.